Much has been written about the 1803-1806 Lewis and Clark expedition, but few authors have considered the effect it had on the Native Americans already inhabiting the "uncharted" territory it explored. Basing her story on actual events noted by William Clark, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve tells a fictional account of the encounter from the point of view of three young Lakota boys. Her story explores the wariness and misunderstanding each side experienced and the trouble that ensued.
As stated in the summary, Bad River Boys is a fictionalized account of a real story. The major problem highlighted within the book was the lack of good translators. Lewis and Clark were only mentioned by name one time and shown to be rude and almost cruel in their treatment of the Sioux. They seemed unprepared to have come across this nation, although, historically, the nation were well known up and down the river for trade.
It was also noted that their only translator was a slave. This was not surprising to me but did highlight the fact that slave trade was common and used by Lewis and Clark. They are not made to be the heroes they are often portrayed in history. This would maybe anger an adult reader to this children's book. This reviewer finds it to be more accurate.
The book had a brief history of the visit as noted in journals by Lewis himself. The author is also quick to note that Lewis and Clark purposely went out of their way to not encounter this tribe again. It was also noted that due to their encounter, bloodshed almost happened because of the misunderstandings and lack of interpreters. A short glossary is also found in the back to help with definitions from the Lakota Sioux, which I found helpful.
The illustrations were all in muted brown and yellows. Very little other color was added. This was not only intentional but purposeful as well.
Overall, I liked this book and think it could find its place. However, I think since it is mostly fictionalized book, it might get lost among other books of the Lewis and Clark expeditions. I do applaud the author for trying to portray a much more accurate account of them and certainly for highlighting her own nation at the same time with honesty and forthrightness.
Disclosure: I obtained this book from my local library. All views are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson, #AtoZBlogChallenge